Fostering Inclusion for Deaf Students

School News

June 10, 2024

St Mary’s College are making strides in supporting our deaf and hard of hearing students. Despite the global shortage of interpreters, the College has taken creative steps to build a thriving deaf community on its secondary campus.

Zryan, a profoundly deaf student, communicates through Auslan (Australian Sign Language). His social nature and popularity among peers, teachers, and the community underscore the importance of fostering an inclusive environment. Staff and students who knew key word signs began enhancing their skills when Zryan joined the Secondary campus in Year 7 (2023).

Cam Wyllie, a Teaching Assistant, proactively learned Auslan through training and self-direction. His dedication exemplifies the College’s commitment to supporting deaf students.

Jacinta Caldwell, an Aboriginal Teaching Assistant, started at St Mary’s College this year. She is also profoundly deaf and an expert in Auslan. Jacinta ensures that all Deaf students feel understood and supported. Jacinta’s primary responsibility is supporting Zryan, but she extends her help to all students on their educational journey.

Director of Learning Diversity, Natalie Giancono, started Auslan classes during lunchtime. These classes are extended to staff and students to learn Auslan, further strengthening the deaf community. Since Jacinta started at the College, she now teaches these classes with assistance from Natalie and Zryan actively participating, educating his peers and teachers in his language.

Recently, staff from the School of Special Educational Needs: Sensory (SSENS) visited the college. Their excitement about Jacinta’s presence underscores her inspiring role in the educational landscape. Jacinta’s unwavering support and unique communication abilities benefit all students. In summary, we take immense pride in St Mary’s College’s commitment to inclusion and community-building for deaf students. Jacinta Caldwell’s advocacy and expertise contribute significantly to this positive environment, making her an invaluable part of the team.

More news

Our Podcast Club students attended the Local Legends Podcast Launch last week, gaining insights into podcasting, careers, and wellbeing. It was ……
This year we were blessed to have our Year 4 and Year 5 students from our College receive the Sacrament of ……